“I never even knew this little gem was near me and I’ve lived a couple blocks away for almost a year.”
#2 in Victoria-Fraserview
7250 Humm Street
Vancouver, it is fair to say at this point in this exercise, has lots of parks: big ones, small ones, ones next to the water, ones that are giant fields, ones that are extended traffic medians, ones next to the water, dog parks, sports parks, ones next to the water, pocket parks, water parks, ones next to the water, and also, ones next to the water.
And yet, there’s only one park in the city where there’s not a single street connected to it.
Humm was built in the 1970s in the midst of Vancouver quickly filling out the southeast section of the city. For whatever reason, the city decided here — and only here — that a park would be set in a square entirely surrounded by Vancouver’s ubiquitous alleyways.
The result is essentially a secret park: one that has existed for 40 years and has 13 reviews on Google; one that hasn’t been discussed by city council or the park board in decades; one that hasn’t been talked about in a single newspaper story, ever.
And it’s a pretty good park! Even if you were to place it off a generic street, there’s a tennis court, a basketball court, just enough grass for a barbeque, and a small but 6/10 playground, with a couple slides, swings, and most importantly (and I am not making this up) multiple educational displays about elks.
All of this is nice enough, but the fact it backs up to alleyways in all directions creates a tiny oasis, a private park for a private group of houses, except it’s all 100% public.
That there’s no public documentation as to why the park board made its unique decision here is vexing. That Humm ultimately isn’t interesting enough to visit if you don’t live in the area is, well, like a lot of parks.
But if you happen to stumble across it, be grateful for finding such a unique — and underexplained — addition to the city’s catalogue of parks.